In pursuit of GKM’s vision to evolve into a people-centered city of economic opportunities by 2047, public investment becomes indispensable.

On the 26th of March, Greater Kokstad Municipality (GKM) Mayor, Cllr Lwanda Madikizela, headed a pivotal event, the Economic Development, Tourism, and Investment Business Breakfast, at the Rest Assured Bed & Breakfast Conference Center. This gathering was a strategic endeavor aimed at forging robust partnerships with the Greater Kokstad business sector and pertinent stakeholders towards achieving the Municipality’s vision.

The essence of this initiative lay in fostering open dialogue and fortifying collaborations between the private and public sectors, thus catalyzing investments in Kokstad's economic landscape. Moreover, the business breakfast served as a catalyst for local enterprises to actively engage in economic development endeavors thereby fostering sustainable solutions to job creation and combating poverty.

Distinguished academics, business leaders, community influencers, and various stakeholders freely contributed their insights, expertise, and experiences to enrich the local business community, at no cost.

During his keynote address, Mayor Madikizela underscored the pivotal role of effective planning, initiation, and implementation, especially in infrastructure development, if Kokstad aims to ascend as a smart city and attract substantial public investments. He articulated; "To cultivate Kokstad's growth, we must ensure an uninterrupted energy supply. Adequate electricity is imperative to entice investors to establish factories within our town. Hence, we've bolstered our grid with the 20MVA Singisi Sub-station."

The Mayor further emphasized the significance of water infrastructure, stating that "access to water is fundamental for population expansion and urban development”. To address this, the Mayor said the Municipality has partnered with the Department of Water and Sanitation and the District Municipality, investing over R160 million to enhance the capacity of the Kempsdale dam. “This augmentation ensures ample water supply for Kokstad's inhabitants well into the next century," said the Mayor.

Additionally, Mayor Madikizela outlined ambitious plans for road infrastructure development, highlighting ongoing projects such as the SANRAL N2 interchange and the rehabilitation of key roadways. These endeavors align with the Municipality's aspirations to fulfill its Eastern Seaboard plans.

In a poignant reflection, Mayor Madikizela acknowledged the imperative of shared responsibility, stating, "It cannot solely rest on the Municipality. This breakfast serves as a platform to collaboratively devise strategies to empower businesses and Small, Medium, and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs). Through our Local Economic Development unit, we endeavor to facilitate opportunities for SMMEs to thrive. Whether established corporations, burgeoning formal enterprises, or township-based ventures, all stakeholders stand to benefit, thereby bolstering our local economy and addressing unemployment and poverty."

In essence the Economic Development, Tourism, and Investment Business Breakfast epitomized GKM's commitment to fostering symbiotic relationships between stakeholders, igniting economic prosperity, and charting a trajectory towards a vibrant and inclusive future for Kokstad.


By Kamvalethu Xhelithole